That most coveted and contentious of labels — dolphin-safe tuna — remains before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The Clinton administration wants to relax the labeling standard to allow for tuna caught by purse-seine nets as long as the dolphin caught in the nets are set free. Environmentalists are split over the standards. Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund back the administration, arguing that the new standard would open up the U.S. market and create greater economic incentives for foreign governments to make sure tuna fishing doesn’t harm dolphins. But the Earth Island Institute, which brought the suit against the U.S. Department of Commerce, argues the new standards would lead to more dolphin deaths and be misleading to consumers.
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